As I write this blog, the news of coronavirus is rapidly evolving and we understand the uncertainty and concerns from our community. Our travelers’ health and safety is always a priority and we are closely monitoring the situation. We realize you may be wondering how this could affect you both before and while you travel, and we are here to offer help and advice to allow for your adventure plans to run smoothly.
At AGC, if a trip is confirmed and there are no Level 3 travel warnings to the destination from either the CDC or U.S. State Department, the next steps for you are to start looking into flights, arranging for the time away, and to meet with your healthcare professionals to discuss your health in relation to the trip and their specific recommendations for vaccinations and/or medications. You should also review travel insurance coverage. We offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services and you can read more about their coverage in relation to COVID-19 here: https://www.travelexinsurance.com/covid19.
Still, you may be asking yourself, should I travel? This depends on a variety of factors, including where you are going and when, your flexibility, risk tolerance, and recommendations from your healthcare professionals. We encourage you in this time of uncertainty to make informed decisions and to not let fear outweigh facts. As of this writing, the World Health Organization does not recommend that you cancel your travel plans unless you are sick or at high risk. And when you travel, you should take routine precautions to stay healthy, including frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, using tissues and wipes and immediately disposing of them after use, and staying well hydrated and rested.
You may also be wondering what happens if a trip you are booked on or are considering joining has a change in status and the CDC or US State Department issues a Level 3 warning to avoid non-essential travel or reconsider travel? If this happens and the trip is scheduled to depart imminently (fewer than 60 days for international trips and 45 days for domestic), we will cancel the trip and you can choose to either receive a credit towards a future trip, transfer amounts paid to an alternate trip, or receive a full refund. For trips not departing imminently, we will review their status on a daily and case-by-case basis and keep you apprised of changes in status. If, however, you choose to cancel from a trip where the above mentioned Level 3 warning isn’t in place or if there is a Level 3 warning and departure is not imminent, your cancellation will be subject to our cancellation policy at the time of the request to cancel. In all instances, AGC is not responsible for costs incurred in preparation for a trip, including flights, vaccinations, and travel insurance costs.
To stay abreast, we encourage you to periodically check the CDC, U.S. State Department and World Health Organization for travel information and advisories, and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for international trips.
This is a challenging situation for everyone. It’s our sincere hope that the situation improves quickly and that we can all get back to planning, preparing, and relishing the joys and excitement that comes with an anticipated adventure. In the meantime, we encourage you to stay calm, stay informed, take the steps you normally would to stay healthy, and to keep on adventuring on!